Why social media users unfollow brands


Too Many Promotional Brand Posts Drive Users Away (Report)

Without an audience, a business’ social media presence is nothing but a waste of time. We spend a lot of time focusing on retention and engagement but rarely think about the behaviors that drive users away. A survey from Sprout Social explores how social media users feel about brand posting habits, and ultimately why they unfollow.


Sprout Social surveyed more than 1,000 users across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, examining brand posting trends like casual language, posting promotions and posting too frequently.

Most of the survey participants indicated that the most annoying thing brands can do on a social account is post too much promotional content. Nearly 40 percent were annoyed by brands using slang and jargon, 34 percent disliked a lack of personality, 32 percent disliked forced humor and nearly 25 percent were annoyed when brands didn’t respond to messages sent by the user.


46 percent of respondents said they unfollow brands for posting too many promotional messages, 41 percent unfollowed because of irrelevant information and almost 35 percent unfollowed brands that tweeted too much. Remember, your social presence isn’t merely an extension of the marketing arm of your business. Smart brands cultivate an authentic voice and facilitate a community around that voice rather than just blasting out coupons and ads.

A big part of the frustration users have with brands on social is response rates. But Sprout Social dug deeper into the data and analyzed actual response rates as compared to user expectation and found some broad variances.


Retail was rated highest by users, and performed only slightly worse than expectations, but media/entertainment response rates were at the very bottom of the rankings, despite high consumer expectation. Utility brands were ranked third worst by consumers, but they actually performed best, according to Sprout Social’s metrics.

Poor service, falling short of expectations and posting content that your intended audience isn’t interested in are all sure ways to lose followers. For more insight into missteps to avoid, and for proactive measures to adopt, check out the full report.

This article first appeared in www.adweek.com

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Kimberlee Morrison

Freelance writer and editor with more than a decade of experience and topical expertise in business, technology, entrepreneurship and social media.

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